Junior Grand Marshals

Pictured are some of this year’s Exira-EHK graduates: row 1: Cooper Larsen, Carson Anderson, Kamryn Waymire, Hudson Kitelinger and Taylor Harris; row 2: Selena Nichols, Amy Hartvigsen, Ev Carroll, Destiny Gessert, Ethan Andersen and Emma Koeppe; row 3: William Paulsen, Ethan Marxen, Ellie Schultes, Wyatt Madsen, Sarah Marshall and Kyla Smith; row 4: Jacey Anthofer, Erin Irlmeier, Lexi Madsen, Caitlin Meyers, Will Carroll and Devin Hansen; row 5: Creighton Nelson, Kellie Haas, Justin Petersen, Jayden Jensen and Mia Nelson.

EXIRA — The annual Exira Fourth of July Parade is still going on, and the Junior Grand Marshal’s of the 155th annual parade have been named: the Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton Community Schools Class of 2020.

Graduates this year faced challenges other classes have not had to deal with, from not finishing off the school year with their classmates to having their graduation held virtually.

The graduating class includes: Ethan Christian Andersen, Carson John Anderson, Jacey Lynn Anthofer, Cade Thomas Bruns, Everette James Carroll, William Herbert Carroll, Destiny Ann Gessert, Kellie Aaron Haas, Devin Allen Hansen, Lauren Auna Hansen, Taylor Ollie Harris, Amy Marie Hartvigsen, Jarrett Wilson Huff, Erin Jo Irlmeier, Jayden Allan Jensen, Hudson James Kitelinger, Emma Jean Koeppe, Cooper Thomas Larsen, Alexis Eileen Madsen, Wyatt Kristopher Madsen, Sarah Ann Marshall, Ethan Jace Marxen, Caitlin Marie Meyers, David Charles Nelsen, Creighton Emery Nelson, Mia Jade Nelson, Selena-Marie Edward Nichols, William Winston Paulsen, Justin Brian Petersen, Noah Lane Petersen, Jacob James Rattenborg, Ellie Jane Schultes, Abbreeanna Eve Schumacher, Marshall Slack, Kyla Leigh-Ann Smith, Jacob Timothy Snyder, Tessa Grace VanderWal, Laurel Virginia Waller, Kamryn Marie Waymire, Logan Alex Woods

The graduates participated in a parade from Brayton to Kimballton and on to Elk Horn, where they received diplomas and had pictures taken with their families, all because of the coronavirus pandemic.

That same concern caused the cancellation of many spring and summer events, but organizers of the Exira Fourth of July Celebration were not ready to cancel completely. While this year’s celebration may not have all the same activities, organizers felt it was important to keep some traditional parts in the plans.

The Coed Softball Tournament will happen on Saturday, June 27 at Exira Legion Park starting at 9 a.m. The 39th annual Fun Run/5K/10K will be Friday, July 3, starting at 7:45 a.m. there will not be race day registration, and no refreshments or pancake breakfast, but the chip timed event will be held starting in City Park. Scott’s Amusements will bring the carnival and food booths, open 4-10 p.m. Friday, July 3, and from noon to ? on Saturday, July 4.

The parade takes off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday — the theme is “Our Roots Run Deep,” and the Grand Marshals are Floyd and Gloria Hackwell. No candy will be thrown out at the parade and attendees are encouraged to maintain social distancing. The parade route was lengthened to allow groups to spread out more. Fireworks are planned for Saturday night at the Spartan Football Field, starting at dusk, and there will be no concessions.

An ecumenical church service will wrap up the celebration on Sunday, July 5, in the city park at 10:30 a.m. The rain location is the Exira Lutheran Church.